By: T Edensor
223 pages, Illus
This book presents for the first time a sociological analysis of the cultural phenomenon, the Taj Mahal. The author describes the conflicting narratives which surround the site; those which remain rooted in Western post-colonialism, viewing the monument as a symbol of love, of India and of splendid exuberance and those which challenge this ethnocentricity, for whom the Taj is the symbolic centre of Islamic power or a site of Moghul appropriation. It goes on to describe many of the tourist practices around the Taj as well as considering the notion of tourism in a wider context. Clearly written and fascinatingly illustrated, Tourists at the Taj concludes with the idea of tourism as 'performance' and the tourist site as 'stage' on which tourists are directed and rehearsed as well as being able to improvise cultural conventions, all in the complex production of leisure space.
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